Top crime reporter and author Bob Bottom has taken aim at Education Department failure to give loans to students studying journalism.
In his submission to the student loans inquiry Mr Bottom urged the government to reconsider the exclusion of journalism from the approved list of courses.
He said ‘the exclusion of a Diploma of Journalism is not justifiable’.
Mr Bottom said:
In particular, having gone through the onsite list for Eligible Courses from 1 January 2017 for VET Student Loans, I find it extraordinary that, among others, such courses as Diploma of Information Technology, Diploma of Digital Media Technology, Diploma of Graphic Design, Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging and Diploma of Screen and Media have been retained. Yet journalism has been excluded.
Mr Bottom said Jschool’s journalism graduates were working all over the country and overseas, and the employment rate in journalism was three times higher than that of university journalism graduates.
Since the Department itself has proclaimed that it will consider submissions on its pruning decisions, I very much urge you to reconsider the exclusion of VET Student Loans for a Diploma of Journalism.’
Mr Bottom received the Order of Australia Medal in 1997 for his work in ‘investigating and reporting upon organised crime in Australia’. The author of nine books on crime and corruption in addition to journalism for newspapers and magazines throughout Australia, his work triggered royal commissions and judicial inquiries in three states.